BIO Commends House Agriculture Committee on Forward-Looking Farm Bill</a>

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 23, 2007) -- Jim Greenwood, president and CEO of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), released the following statement today regarding House Committee on Agriculture approval of a 2007 Farm Bill (H.R. 2419):

“The forward-looking proposals included in the Farm Bill passed July 19 by the House Agriculture Committee can help America lessen its dependence on foreign oil by promoting renewable energy, biobased products, and sustainable new sources of biomass. However, without the necessary funding, the historic promise of the proposed legislation may not be realized.

“To rapidly achieve a level of biofuel production that will substantially lessen U.S. dependence on imported energy, the biofuels industry needs continued investment both in construction of large-scale biorefineries and in ongoing research and development in enzymes and other biorefinery processes and feedstocks. The proposed Farm Bill authorizes both loan guarantees to back construction of next-generation biorefineries and continuation of the Biomass Research & Development Act that supports needed research into reducing the barriers to commercialization of biomass for chemicals, fuels and power.

“The proposed Farm Bill also includes significant support for biofuels producers to purchase next-generation energy crops, which will help to lower the cost of producing cellulosic ethanol. It would also create a new biomass energy reserve program that would help pay farmers and communities for the production, harvest and transport of new biomass crops.

“Further, the proposal renews and expands the government’s commitment to purchase biobased products made from renewable resources and to encourage consumer selection of these products through labeling. Biobased products meet the most important environmental goals, including using less energy and other natural resources in production and lowering greenhouse gas emissions.

“Lastly, in addition to research initiatives for bioenergy crop production, the bill creates a training program that will help maintain the product integrity of biotechnology-derived seed and ensure compliance with federal regulations for agricultural biotechnology research.

“BIO commends Chairman Collin C. Peterson (D-Minn.), Ranking Member Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), and the entire Committee for their efforts in passing this proposed legislation. We urge the House of Representatives to fully fund these important initiatives.”

BIO represents more than 1,100 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and 31 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products.